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Escape video driver prison

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All of us are guilty of reading the articles and sales pitches associated with the technological race associated with computer component superiority. May it be CPU advancement, solid state hard drives, soundcards or video cards, we all keep our finger on the pulse of the media stream to some degree. We read the hype we see the numbers and we buy the bigger better item knowing we have stepped up in the evolutionary ladder of hardware advancement. That being said, some of us become prisoners of the very technology that we follow so religiously. The prison cell is the advanced features of the new technology itself and its unwillingness to get along with our operating system.

 

Today's topic is focused on video card drivers and the fear that some have when it comes to upgrading their video drivers. This fear is well deserved; all of us know someone that has updated their video drivers and were not heard from again for days ranting2.gifas they scrambled to repair a nightmare of reboots, restores and lock ups.

I will attempt to supply the keys to those locked in their video driver cell and be free to enjoy the technology that they've paid for construction.gif

 

There are generic drivers that utilize the basic functions of a video card and place images on the screen in a manner that you can comprehend. All operating systems have these generic video drivers as a part of the operating system package. The manufacturers video drivers are a more advanced collection of scripts and programs that are specifically written to take advantage of your video card. Typically new video drivers fix and increase video performance over previously distributed versions. Note I said typically, sometimes the new video driver introduces new bugs as it fixes old ones. This is why you should read the programmers notes which give a fairly detailed overview of what has changed in this iteration of driver.

 

Read the notes to determine if there is anything in the new version that you would benefit from. I never recommend upgrading for the sakeup upgrading, instead upgrade if you would realize some level of benefit. The benefit could be between the video card and OS or for a particular software title that you use. So you read the notes and see that they have increased the performance of your video card with your OS and they have fixed several bugs that caused some games to have glitches. Keep in mind you need to read the programmers note that are between your current version and those being introduced, so if you have been locked up for sometime, you have some reading ahead of you hysterical.gif

 

 

 

The problem happens when we count on the software of the video card manufacturer to properly cut previous associations with old drivers.

 

Here is where things go wrong, after the installation of the new drivers, we reboot and we see the operating start up logo and then BAM!, blackscreen, flicker, flicker and boink!, 'bluescreen of death'. The reason? The operating system looks to a script better known as the 'registry file' which is the book keeper of your OS and hardware associations and is constantly keeping track of what driver to load for what device. If the new driver installation software doesnot do a good job of getting rid of old associations the OS is loading old information in combination with the new resulting in a start up failure.

 

construction.gif To give yourself the best possible chance of successfully upgrading your video drivers without ruining your entire weekend, follow these tips construction.gif

 

First download and install a free and very powerful tool called Driver Sweeper from the guys at www.guru3d.com. This software has one function; it makes sure the registry file cuts all associations with the previous driver set. The software is bloat free there are no adware and it works flawlessly in fact it does not add itself to your registry in any way. Here is a link to the program description page.

 

Once you install the program make sure you put a short cut ofthe program in your quick launch bar or on the desktop.

 

Always, ALWAYS, uninstall the current video driver software and all of its supportive utilities. Go into your OS's uninstall menu/utility and find and uninstall all of the previous video driver components. Keep in mind that any of you multi monitor users or users with a particular desktop icon arrangement, will have to reset those up again as this process eliminates all associated settings.

 

Reboot into SAFE MODE which will utilize those generic video drivers we talked about earlier. This is one of the most important steps of this exercise. SAFE MODE loads the OS in complete generic driver mode so that no advanced drivers are in memory. Uninstall utilities cannot uninstall a program that is in use, SAFE MODE guarantees no strings are attached to the old drivers thus allowing them to be eradicated!

 

Find the previously created shortcut to Driver Sweeper and run the software. Once the software is up and running you will select your particular video card manufacturer ATI Display or Nvidia Display and click on Analyze.

 

driversweeper-250.jpg

Please note that driver sweeper can remove drivers for other hardware as well. You must be careful here, do not select chipset or other variations of your manufacturers drivers as you are only upgrading your video drivers atthis time. You will be presented with a list that shows all found instances with check boxes to allow the user to unselect an item if they wish. Once you are satisfied with the select list click CLEAN. The software will erase all selected associations in the registry file. Once this process is complete close Driver Sweeper and reboot your computer.

 

After the reboot you may be asked to automatically find theproper drivers for your hardware, decline all OS attempts to find your drivers.

 

Once the OS is properly satisfied and completely understands that you do not want its help, run the new video driver installation software and reboot.

 

 

 

You should now be the proud owner of the latest and greatest video card drivers. Now let's just hope that the new drivers have not introduced new bugs that make you computing experience annoying on some other front. Welcome to the free world of new and improved!!!!cheers.gif

 

 

 

 

thanks.gif

Edited by Hajimoto

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When I had a Nvdia card I always got rid of old drivers first before upgrading but I thought I didn't have to for ATI cards ta dude

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Haj thanks for that ;) you mentioned to stop attempts of the OS installing the drivers itself but win7 always, at least on my system installs the drivers anyway and I can't stop it. Any suggestions on stopping the OS from taking over.

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Haj thanks for that ;) you mentioned to stop attempts of the OS installing the drivers itself but win7 always, at least on my system installs the drivers anyway and I can't stop it. Any suggestions on stopping the OS from taking over.

 

Actually on Win7 you shouldn't have an issue. After you run Driver Sweeper in SAFE MODE and reboot you should not see any prompt telling you that Win7 is finding drivers, it should happen int he back ground without you seeing any prompt.

 

You will need Win7 to load its generic drivers but don't allow it to go on the internet and search for drivers and such. If you are getting a prompt in Win7 either grab a screen shot of the prompt or use Win7's Snipping Tool to grab an image. I would like to see that prompts you may be exposed to.

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Win 7 generic drivers are not an issue when it comes to install the "manufacturer viideo drivers"

 

The generic Win7 divers are Microsoft signature and will be override when a "manufucturer signature" get installed.

 

However, you might have 2 options to avoid an automatic installation if you get paranoid about it.

 

1 - I do not suggest this one, and i don t even know completely how to do it - if you dig the Updates options and other options Googling "driver updates", you will see that there is a way to TOTALLY disable the Win7 support to find drivers online when a new device is connected. I do not agree with this because so far Win 7 strenght has been simplify life and find good drivers for a majority of devices. Video cards are a beast a part, but only for "gamers". A normal PC user is totally happy with the "generic" drivers Win7 can find and will never need anything more.

 

2 - before understanding about Driver Sweeper, my formula was going CONTROL PANEL and unistall the CCC and its affiliations and then going to DEVICE MANAGER and UNISTALL the video device. Unistalling the Video Device, eradicates drivers completely. it also offers an option to delete the "generic" drivers Win7 suggests for it.

After that UNPLUG THE ETHERNET CORD, so your PC is not on the internet and cannot attempt any automatic upgrade.

Rebooot and you will be on a very generic setup, 800 * 600 SVGA super generic mode.

INSTALL YOUR NEW VIDEO DRIVERS and accessories and your set to go.. reconnect your ethernet cord after the final reboot.

 

 

NOW, there is driver sweeper coming too help, I ll give a try to that :) I still suggest to unplug the Ethernet cord during this kind of upgrades to avoid your PC taking any "initiative" without your consens :)

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i installed Rivatuner for my video card Its a overclockking program for Nvidia and ATI cards use at your own risk....Link.... http://www.guru3d.com/

Edited by GySgt~SPARTA~

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